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Detailed record for Harley 2868

Title Book of Hours, Use of Sarum, imperfect
Origin France, N. W. (Normandy)
Date 1st half of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration 8 large initials in gold and colours with partial borders on three sides with gold ivy scrolls and flowers (ff. 34, 52, 57v, 61, 64, 68v, 71, 110v); the borders include a butterfly (ff. 34, 110v), and an acanthus leaf and the head of a man in profil (f. 71). Initials in colours and gold, some with foliate tendrils. Paraphs and line-fillers in colours and gold. 2-line initials in red ink (added prayers on ff. 143-144).
Dimensions in mm 150 x 115 (80 x 50)
Official foliation ff. 174 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end)
Collation Mostly in quires of 8.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Red gold-stamped leather binding.
Provenance 'Theobal gutta selvaner ?sanat me elizabeth filiam dei.'; ?15th century inscription (f. 174v).
Erased arms (f. 174).
Prayer in French; 15th century (f. 1r-v).
Added texts in Latin written in later hands (ff. 13v, 103-104, 143-144, 168v-170, 171v, 173v).
Added texts in English, ?15th-century hand (ff. 170v-171, recipe on f. 4v).
Added texts in English signed 'P. Ely', 15th century (ff. 172v-173).
Partially erased inscription with date of 1661? (f. 174).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts.
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d.1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes Contains suffrages to Barbara and Giles (ff. 2-6), a calendar (ff. 7-13v; with Normand feast days), Gospel Lessons (ff. 14-23v), mixed Hours of the Virgin and Hours of the Cross with suffrages after Lauds (ff. 24-77v, imperfect), Penitential Psalms followed by the Litany (with Normand saints) and various prayers (ff. 78-102v, imperfect), the Office of the Dead (ff. 105-143, imperfect), the Commendation of Souls (ff. 144-167v, imperfect). Catchwords.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2868.


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Illuminated initial

f. 71
Illuminated initial

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